British Fashion Council (BFC) CEO Caroline Rush said the fashion industry’s creativity will help it to navigate the uncertainty of Brexit at the opening of London Fashion Week today.
The BFC has previously expressed its deep misgivings about the UK exiting the EU without a deal and admitted that this season’s London Fashion Week was staged against a difficult political backdrop.
However she said she believed that the industry’s creativity would grow stronger in the face of adversity which would help it to navigate any difficulties presented by Brexit.
“Putting politics aside and a potential no-deal Brexit, we know that our London designers are fantastic. At times of adversity, creativity is even stronger.
“We are expecting really strong collections in front of an international audience to prove we can get past Brexit. We wouldn’t have an industry without creativity and London Fashion Week is for showcasing this.”
She pressed the point that the UK needed to show that it was open for business and that it wanted to continue to trade with other nations. “The power of fashion and culture is to demonstrate that we are open as a country. Industries such as fashion can show that we are great collaborators,” she said.
BFC chair Stephanie Phair said at the opening of the five-day event that the Government needed to support the industry and in particular young designers, who are trying to work their way through Brexit-related challenges.
“Give access to much-needed funding that would help create the stimulus for British designer businesses to remain competitive internationally, through trading agreements, access to finance, free movement of talent and support for promotions,” Phair said in a direct plea to the Government.
Phair also used the opening of London Fashion Week to announce that the BFC was launching the new Future Leader’s Initiative, in partnership with the London Business School, which includes a new scholarship for a business MBA student and placement for an MBA graduate within the fashion industry.
Next month the Fashion Studio Apprenticeship will launch which offers new pathways into luxury fashion without the need for attending university.